PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
Forensics Night gives students opportunity to hone performances
Lansing High School was full of drama on Monday.
Students who will attend the Class 5A state forensics tournament Saturday, May 6, in Emporia were practicing their pieces for audiences of parents, siblings and classmates at the LHS annual Forensics Night and Dessert Banquet on May 1.
The audience milled from classroom to classroom, watching students present prose and poetry interpretations; humorous or serious solo performances; duets; informative, persuasive or extemporaneous speeches; and a Lincoln-Douglas debate.
The forensics team is taking an over-filled roster to the state competition on Saturday. Each school is allowed a maximum of 16 entries, which can be in any category. Forensics sponsor Ken Church intends to take his 16 entries as well as 8 alternates, should anyone be unable to perform.
The students will speak and perform a wide range of pieces, from an informative speech about bananas to a serious monologue about a student who has just killed his teacher.
One duet performed by senior Samantha Mitchell and freshman Aaron Keeling, "One Tennis Shoe" by Shel Silverstein, qualified for state at six out of the seven tournaments where it was performed. Mitchell said it "just stuck."
"After the first tournament, we kinda just knew we worked well together," she said.
Saturday's tournament will be the last for Mitchell, but win or lose, she said, it's a big accomplishment just to qualify.
"I'm so excited that I have the chance to go to state," she said. "The team has worked hard, and we deserve to go."
Church said he knows his students are well-qualified for the state tournament, but he's not going to guess at how the team will do.
"Our chances are just as good as anybody else's," he said. "All these other schools are good, too."
Plus, he said, "luck plays a big part" at the state tournament every year. Sometimes the judges, who are all volunteers, don't know the rules of each category, and sometimes they just pick pieces that he never expected to go on to semi-final or final rounds.
But he'll take it in stride, he said.
"This is the icing on the cake. We'll celebrate the good things and learn from the bad things."